So, before I get to it: The security at Creative Sydney was still really off-putting. Rocking up to a venue and being asked: “Where are you going?” is not an inclusive feel. Security at the MCA is on the whole incredibly polite. But having them stand out front is off-putting. And having them step into your way as you come into the building is flat out intimidating.
The only words we had to say to them were “Creative Sydney”. This was not a well-guarded code. Security-wise it didn’t seem to to be the most watertight of procedures.
I’m sure Creative Sydney wants people to wander in off the street. I’m sure the MCA wants people to come back in again after cruising in, hoping for an open gallery. So why do their audiences get treated this way?
Eat It / Kitchen Cook Off
There were big round tables set out around the room, with people spiked around them, cabaret-style. These were all full, so we had to pluck chairs from the bar and drag them over. As we waited, copies of twothousand.com.au‘s zine Eat It got passed around the audience.
We waited for the show to begin.
There were a lot of young people in this session. Not exclusively. Most sat around chatting in pairs. There were less people there by themselves (like me). But enough of them. They tended to sit alone, looking contemplative and lost. Maybe Creative Sydney needs Creative speed-dating? Except that speed dating is tack. (And, apparently, they already have something like it anyway.)
Yoshimi vs. the Pink Robots came on over the stereo, and the curtain fell away to reveal Robbie the Robot behind a pulsing wall of blue light.
I think I have begun to cotton on to the darker purpose of Creative Sydney. Back in 1998, I heard cinematographer Chris Doyle being interviewed about Gus Van Sant’s remake of Psycho, in the bar of what was the Dendy under Martin Place. He said that they’d been given a load of money by a big studio to make the movie, so they decided to make a shot-by-shot remake of the original. And if the big studios wanted to give them a pile of cash just to experiment with an art-project, he said, well what was wrong with that?
The Sydney Sessions, so far, are like the Creative Sydney art project. Big names come in during the first sessions of the evening, drawing the crowds. By the time the second sessions have come around the crowd has thinned out, the note-takers become more obvious and people with lower-profile projects get a big stage to talk about them. But the big sessions fund the art-project of the second ones.
Tuesday night had two sessions.
In this week’s episode of This America Life, host Ira Glass opens by saying
Why don’t we just charge for the podcast? Answer is we don’t want to, because fewer people would actually hear the podcast. We like it to be free. And, idealistically, we like the idea that it should be possible to do ambitious stories and try things that nobody else is doing on radio, on podcast and pay for the whole thing by asking the people who listen to kick in a couple bucks each. I believe in that. I have thrown money at podcasts I like. It’s still really cheap entertainment. If that’s going to be the future of media, I like that future.
Monday night’s Pecha Kucha – Right-Brain Business Models – had two 6 minute 40 second presentations on this sort of theme.
We’ve regressed to the nineteenth century. We live longer, travel easier and connect further than we ever have before. But we struggle with the effects of our technological revolution. On environment. On old ways of working. On society. The new world we live in is scary and weird and cool and exhilarating.
And we want people to explain it to us.
Explaining changing world of consumption was the theme of this first session.
Posted in review
Tagged review, zacha
Where are all the interesting people? If you get the feeling that there are cohorts of people doing cooler, more arty things than you hidden in the folds of Sydney; with more, funding, more cred and more success… On the surface, Creative Sydney seems to offer you a chance to meet people like these.
So, does it? How interesting is Creative Sydney?